Wawa to close 2 Center City Philadelphia locations amid safety concerns

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Wawa is closing two downtown Philadelphia stores due to “continued safety challenges and business factors,” according to a company statement.

The beloved convenience store chain said it was closing stores at 12th and Market and 19th and Market streets.

A spokesperson said, “All associates at these two stores will be offered continued employment with Wawa. These two closures do not necessarily impact or limit the potential for future stores in Philadelphia County. We continue to focus on whatever we can to monitor.”

“It’s getting worse, it’s getting worse. I don’t even understand why they keep doing this. It doesn’t make sense,” West Philadelphia client Virginia Carrington said.

SEE ALSO: Philly Police release video which shows suspects ransacking a Wawa store in Mayfair

Customers at the Wawa on 36th and Chestnut streets are frustrated after hearing that five women are wanted for robbing and injuring a female employee early Thursday morning.

“I heard they pepper-sprayed employees that worked in Wawa. The city is just out of control right now,” said Alfie Coker of South Philadelphia.

Incidents like the one last month where almost 100 miners ransacked a Mayfair Wawaencouraged Councilman Michael Driscoll’s office to contact the Wawa company.

“We wanted them to know we were there for them, we were there to help them,” Driscoll said.

Driscoll has now said he fears for Wawa’s future in Philadelphia if violent or dangerous incidents continue to occur at stores.

SEE ALSO: Philadelphia police are still looking for the suspects who ransacked Wawa in Mayfair

“My worry is that any company that goes through something like this might change their business model,” he said.

Wawa has adjusted and reduced nighttime hours at several stores and closed others completely in recent years.

Regarding the Market Street Wawa store closures, a spokesperson said, “These closures in no way diminish our continued commitment to serving the Philadelphia community or our appreciation for the efforts and support we continue to receive from local law enforcement. It is our hope to reallocate these two locations for the benefit of Philadelphia.”

“We are truly sorry that we cannot be there for our friends and neighbors at these two locations, but we continue to serve the community from our other nearby stores and our commitment to the greater area remains strong. Philadelphia is our hometown and that’s something that will never change.”

The City says it is working with business owners to understand their concerns. “The Nighttime Economy Director has launched a listening tour that would publicly engage businesses large and small that operate after 5 p.m. in Philadelphia.”

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